YOU SHOULD BUY YOUR KIDS A PIANO
Forget all the
hype about kids piano lessons and motor skills, brain
development and self esteem, even though it's all true.
are all part of piano lessons, and, if your child sticks with
it, they will likely be able to make use of them. But that's a
little abstract, so let's be more concrete.
deeper, more social and human reason to try to get your kid to
play the piano: the joy of music.
Look at your
child: they reverberate to music. It's in their lullaby, it's on
the TV, it's all around them. Play music from any source and
they will start moving with it.
To a child,
music is quite magical, but they have no idea of the complexity
involved in making music to a level that is listenable. All the
child knows is that music is fun, and they want more, right now.
Just banging on
the piano keys is joyous for a child, even though they know
there is no reason or rhyme to their banging. It's fun to make
The piano is
the easiest instrument for a child to find a satisfying musical
experience. By that I mean that it takes far less motor skills
to bang out a tune on the piano than on the violin or any other
orchestral instrument. The violin, for example, requires
complex, specific hand positions, different in both hands, to
produce even a single note.
What does it
take for a kid to play a single note on the piano? An index
handled, the piano becomes the quickest and easiest vehicle for
a child to start experiencing the joy of music. The danger is
that the child is sent to a piano teacher who does not believe
this, and begins the child on a turgid course of reading music
before there is ever any joy and music in the room.
With a patient
and creative piano teacher, the piano will appear simple to a
child, constructed so brilliantly that even the smallest child
begins to sense the deep logic of the keyboard, and embarks on
an intellectual journey that lasts a lifetime.
If you are
patient, and do not expect too much, you will soon have a child
who can play dozens of tunes in their own fashion. Yes, there
will be terrible fingerings, horrible, almost non-existent
rhythms and much else that is "wrong" with their
renditions, but you will have a child who is ready for more
(and, more importantly, a child who has never heard the word
"failure" in relation to the piano.)
And the piano
is full of "more" to be learned. To paraphrase
Vladimir Horowitz, one of the greatest of pianists, "It
only gets harder." But the kid doesn't know that, and will
never get started if you make that cold fact the center of your
initial presentation of the piano.
concentrate only on the joy of music at first, as seen through
the abilities of the child before you.
Buy your kids a
piano and start making music on their level.